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Christmas 2012

This Christmas season we traveled to Chicago to celebrate with Alyssa’s family. The trip had a bittersweet beginning as we attended services to honor and remember Alyssa’s great-grandmother, Nana, who passed away a week before Christmas. She was by all accounts the true matriarch of the family. A genuinely remarkable woman, it would be impossible for anyone who had met her to not remember her sense of humor and beautiful smile.

Living in Nashville the last several years, these two northerners have had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit with a forecast of 65 and snowless in December. So we were both happy to see some flurries our first day in the Windy City.

There were of course the epic family get togethers complete with karaoke and dancing.

One of my favorite parts of going to Chicago in the winter is that my in-laws live on a pond that is perfect for skating when it freezes. My skating skills aren’t necessarily on par with the rest of the crew. However, I did get a pretty decent hockey lesson from Alyssa’s dad, and even helped (at least I tried to) protect the turf in a neighborhood pickup game.

Alyssa on the other hand grew up figure skating and is pretty awesome on the ice.

Alyssa and I became Aunt and Uncle this year to twin boys, and even though we hated missing their first Christmas we’re so grateful for technology that let us see our little buddies!

We went downtown to check out the city’s holiday lights.

Train reflections

Hope that you all had a great Christmas with loved ones!

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Juice Lovin’

We all have our favorite smoothies and juices. It’s no secret that we love Jamba Juice – Razzmatazz is my favorite! But when Chico recently watched a documentary on juicing we took our love for blended drinks to the next level.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the…

Breville Juicer!!

It’s been a hit at our house this past week. We’ve had a lot of fun dreaming up juice combinations!

Every morning this week, Chico has made me a new juice combination to bring to work for breakfast. Here are the results:

Green Apple, Pear, and Pineapple

Strawberry Blackberry

Peach, Strawberry, and Blackberry

Grapefruit, Pear, and Peach

Chico was even brave enough to make his own veggie drink:

Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Green Apple, Lemon, and Ginger

We are even thinking about doing a juice cleanse soon. What are some of your favorite juice combinations?

Sunday Afternoon Picnic

The warm weather is keeping us outdoors lately- so much so that we went on a winter weekend picnic (yes, it’s January)!

Our first stop was The Grilled Cheeserie. Now, I know you’ve all had a grilled cheese sandwich… but have you ever had a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich? From a truck? Well, they’re delicious!

After watching little kids feed the ducks beneath the Parthenon… (no, we aren’t in Greece, we’re still in Nashville where they like to replicate world renown monuments on American soil)

…we spent some time just kicking back, reading and resting. It’s what you should do on the weekends!

Have you spent any time outside this warm winter?

My New Blog…

Hey friends!

I am that crazy girl who decided to start not just one… but TWO blogs! As you know I love crafting, cooking, and fashion. Since this blog is dedicated mostly to Chico and my life together, I wanted to have a separate blog for all of the “girly” stuff.

It’s called The Modernette.

Hope you enjoy it!

My Wii Battle Face…

So as I mentioned my family loves playing games. Well late one night this past week, my oldest brother pulled out the Wii. I have to admit I’m not one for the new gaming systems. I grew up on the old school NES, Super NES and of course my favorite – the N64 (Alyssa bought me one for Christmas so we could play Mario Kart!). However, when it comes to the newer consoles I lack the practice or time to be any good.

But still I’m always down for some good family time – even if it means losing to my parents in Wii bowling (yep that happened). Well after most of the fam went to bed, my brother, David, and I started exploring the Wii, and we discovered Swordplay. That’s when the chaos began.

We found duel mode which looks something like this:

Well, like I said it was quite late, and we were a bit slap happy. It came to our attention that our faces were looking quite ridiculous so I decided to set up my phone to record a few bouts. Normally I don’t share this kind of incriminating evidence, but we got such a good laugh out of it that I have to. Enjoy.

Christmas Crafting Pt. 2

Not only did I make an Ornament Wreath the other weekend, but I also created two book page Christmas trees! If you’ve seen our wedding pictures, you will know that I am truly a huge fan of old books and book pages. I can’t seem to get enough! So here is a craft that was immediately added to my to-do list straight off of Pinterest.

Here’s the How-To!

Materials:

Styrofoam cones

Old book

Hot Glue

Tree Topper/Decorations

1) I started off by tearing out book pages and rolling them into mini-cones one at a time like so:

2) Apply hot glue to the end of your paper cone and press it down onto the styrofoam base starting at the bottom.

3) Glue the paper cones to cover the styrofoam part. The best way to do this is by alternating the paper cones with each row you do. As you continue to work your way up, glue them on by making each row a little bit shorter than the last row.

4) Continue this pattern until you get to the top! You can then add your tree topper or leave it plain. Adding some garland or decorations would be fun, too!

And there you have it… your very own book page Christmas trees! Enjoy!

Fall Cleaning – Finding Things We Could Have Used Months Ago

This past weekend we decided to do some fall cleaning. Dust was starting to collect on old clothes and our desk drawers were becoming so cluttered that it was becoming impossible to find anything. So after breakfast we started our Goodwill bag and began making the hard decisions of what to toss.

I started with my desk – so much junk mail. You see I’m completely paranoid about throwing out junk mail – I think that the bad people of the world are going to steal all my info, open up credit cards accounts and go on extravagant vacations on my credit score’s dime. So instead of trashing it all I just hold on to it until I – A) get access to a shredder or B) have access to fire where I can burn the evidence.

Alyssa in the meantime started on her craft drawers – and let me tell you, the woman could start her own craft shop with the amount of buttons and gluesticks she has.

Time for a Zack Morris style time-out for a brief story:

The week before our wedding, while I was on the road, Alyssa called me a bit upset that she couldn’t find her passport – an item that was most necessary for our honeymoon travels. However we knew some people who had used passport expediting services and we weren’t too worried.

Well, the next day she called to inform me that she couldn’t find her birth certificate either. Now, if you don’t know, not having a birth certificate highly complicates getting your passport expedited and we were running out of time.

Long story short – Alyssa’s mom had to go to the county clerk’s office back in Chicago and get her birth certificate to mail it down to Nashville same day air. Then we had to FedEx everything to the expediting service and pray for the best.

So the whole week before the wedding when most people are stressing over things like whether or not the flower girls will remember their cues, we were worrying about whether or not we would be able to go on our honeymoon.

But alas – at the last minute the FedEx package arrived and we all were relieved.

Time In:

So during our little cleaning session guess what turned up in one of our ‘junk boxes’…Aly’s birth certificate – oh the drama we could have avoided.

Needless to say we’re going to take a few more organizational precautions in the future – no more close calls for us. But thankfully it all worked out in the end and we had an amazing honeymoon in St. Maarten!

Oh and later that night I started a fire to burn all of our junk mail…